Collecting and Cleaning Propolis for BEEpothecary

BEEpothecary Propolis Collection and Cleaning

How to Collect Propolis

From spare hive bodies and frames (pulled off for winter) – Scrape propolis from hive bodies
and frames using a hive tool. As you inspect, only scrape away propolis that is in your way, or
prevents you from getting frames back down in in the box! Don’t scrape all the propolis from the
hive bodies the bees are using! They need the propolis in the hive to keep the hive healthy.
Save the propolis that is in your way by putting it in a zip lock bag. Do not clump the propolis –
leave it in small pieces. Put it in the freezer to save. This will prevent it from melting into a big

When cleaning empty hives – Scrape the box and the frames completely of propolis. Try not to
get paint or wood chips mixed in propolis. If you do get some in it, remove as much as you can.
We do not want a ball of clumped dirty propolis.

Propolis traps – Put trap on top box of frames and block up lid with stick or thumb tacks- You
have to do this to let light in so they will fill up holes to block light. Otherwise it is just up against
the cover and they won’t fill it. No inner cover needed. Once trap is full, pull off, put trap in large
trash bag, and put in freezer. Once frozen, you can bend, twist and whack most of the propolis
off the trap, inside the bag. You still may need to scrape or pick some out of the trap using a
hive tool. Again, store this in a baggie in the freezer. We do not want a balls of clumped
propolis, but rather in small pieces.

Storage – Keep any propolis you collect in a plastic bag or closed container in the freezer until
you have finished collecting and are ready to clean it. Try not to let it get too warm or it will
clump together. Much easier to clean when crumbly in little pieces.

How to Clean Propolis for BEEpothecary


  •  Tarp or plastic tub
  •  5 gallon bucket
  •  Garden hose
  •  2 framed window screen for straining 3’ x 3’
  •  Rubber gloves to prevent propolis from straining your hands or nails
  •  Hammer

Steps to Cleaning

  1. Work outside! Lay out place outside with tarp if needed.
  2. Take propolis baggies out of freezer. Put baggie in stronger bags (feed bags work well)
    or layers of bags.
  3. On a hard surface, smash the frozen propolis into the smallest pieces you can.
  4. Put an inch of water in the 5 gal. bucket so propolis won’t stick to bottom and put smashed propolis in the bucket.
  5. Use the garden hose to fill the bucket almost to the top with cold water. Swish the propolis around vigorously with your hands several times. This frees up the debris – like bee parts, beeswax, wood shavings, paint, etc. Most of this will float.6
  6. Let the propolis settle to the bottom. Then skim the debris off the top with a wire strainer
    or screen.
  7. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until no more debris floats to the top. ( You will never get ALL the
    debris out. There may still be tiny pieces of paint or whatever. This will be strained out in
    the infusing process.)
  8. Pour off most of the water, leaving the propolis in the bucket.
  9. In a shaded or cool area out of the hot sun, set out your framed screen on a board, cookie sheet, or patio table and pour the propolis bits onto the screen, allowing the water to drain off. Let the propolis remain on the screen to dry. Every so often mix the propolis on the screen to help speed up dry process.
  10. Alternately, you can put the drained propolis in a food dehydrator on low or below 120°F. Takes a day or so.

Selling to BEEpothecary

Preparing for Mailing

1. Once completely dried, pick out any wood chips or paint chips,
2. Weigh the propolis, then put propolis in quart to gallon size freezer bag.
3. Write on the zip lock bag or attach to the bag: Your full name, weight of propolis, your address, email and phone number- important: we would not want your propolis to get
confused with other baggies of propolis.
4. Place in freezer until you are ready to mail it to us for inspection.
5. Mail to: BEEpothecary, 1815 Marietta Rd, NE, Lancaster, OH 43130
6. Then email us at: BEEpothecary@gmail.com in the subject line” Sending Propolis to Sell- your name”

Selling / Acceptance Process

  •  Email or Call us to let us know you are ready to send propolis. We pay $30 a pound for
    clean propolis.
  •  If we find that we have to clean your propolis then we will be offering less money for our
    time to clean. We will always inspect it for cleanliness before we pay for propolis…we
    may give it one wash to verify cleanliness.
  •  We will weigh your propolis to verify and match your bag weight.  We will then call you and agree upon a weight and price. A check will be sent out within 24 hours or next business day of our phone call.
  •  If you decline our price, we will be happy to ship the propolis back to you at your expense.

Thank you,

The Dotsons and Saums

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